LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Little Rock city officials say they have “no timeline” for appointing the city’s next top cop.
LRPD Chief Keith Humphrey announced his retirement from the department yesterday, effective May 20, 2022.
“I didn’t see it coming,” said Little Rock City Board Member Ken Richardson.
The power is now in the hands of Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr., who is up for re-election in November.
“I think some people may try and make it a political issue and put pressure on the mayor and that’s an unfortunate reality,” said Richardson.
As the search begins, Mayor Scott and other city leaders agree public safety is on top of mind.
“That’s something that we wake up and go to bed each night focused on,” said Mayor Scott.
As of the first week of May, the number of homicides in Little Rock for 2022 nears 30.
There were 65 homicides in total in 2021.
“The places where we need the heaviest police presence happens to be in places where we have the worst community-police relationships,” said Richardson.
City leaders agree Little Rock’s next chief must put an emphasis on lowering crime rates.
“[We want to continue working on] proactive policing, as well as prevention and intervention treatment,” said Mayor Scott.
Richardson says it’s about solving the problems before they happen.
“We need to start playing chess rather than playing checkers,” said Richardson.
Richardson says he hopes the next police chief will work with the city to help solve issues, making Little Rock a safer place to live.
Chief Keith Humphrey was appointed to head of LRPD in April of 2019.
Assistant Chief Crystal Young-Haskins will be interim chief until a new one is appointed.